Life & Family

See You in December!

I realized that my blogging situation needs help, so I’m going on a bit of a hiatus until December 1st. November is an intense month, y’all.

After I realized I could either post just to be posting or work on December posts and have quality posts that month, I decided to do the latter. It’s best to regroup and come back strong than trundling along in mediocrity, in my opinion.

So I’ll see you in December!

-Sarah-

Life & Family · Monthly Recaps

October Wrap-up

What I Read

  1. I Remember You: A Ghost Story
  2. The Right Hand of Evil
  3. House of Ashes
  4. Christmas With You (will be up on the blog in December)
  5. The Twelve Slays of Christmas (will also be up in December along with the sequel)

What I Watched

  1. I am The Pretty Thing That Lives in The House (pass if you can)
  2. Malevolent
  3. The Conjuring
  4. Some Doctor Blake Murder Mysteries
  5. A full 3 Collections of Forensic Files

What I Cooked/Ate

  1. Chicken Bog – I used a rotisserie chicken instead of boiling mine, but it turned out amazing.
  2. Cheese Fondue
    • I bought a fondue pot for Shane’s birthday even though it’s not until mid-Nov.
  3. Broth Fondue
  4. Roughly 7 dishes to use up the leftover dippers from the fondue. Including a pizza topped with all the leftover cheese and veggies. It was delicious.
  5. Sushi from King Kong Sushi….repeatedly
  6. Sushi from the grocery store by my house because it’s actually incredibly good.
  7. Eggs Bennies from our favorite little diner. We go about once a week since they serve b-fast for me and lunch/dinner for Shane when he gets off in the morning.
  8. An insanely messy meal from Steak ‘n Shake (autocorrect made that Steak ‘n Shame and it’s not wrong).

What I Did

I’m about to be too honest with y’all, but here goes. This month we had a flea invasion (from an untreated puppy). I have spent weeks this month washing clothes then having to wash them again, having a hard time breathing from all the diatomaceous earth we had to put on the carpet, watching Tau to make sure the flea medicine didn’t kill him, washing more clothes/sheets/comforters, and so on and so forth. All while my hands were torn up from flea bites – I have a really bad reaction to them. I literally bandaged my hands and wrists like I had been in a fire so I wouldn’t scratch them. It was a nightmare. It’s been 3 weeks from the first bite and they’re finally fading. BUT there are no fleas in this apartment anymore. If there were, they’d be biting me. I’m a magnet. Tomorrow we get to vacuum up the diatomaceous earth and dust the entire apartment cuz that stuff gets everywhere. Last month was hurricanes, this month was bugs. Next month will be family (I kid, I kid). 10/10 will probably pet the puppy again. After I check that it’s been treated. I helped a twitter friend’s friend fix a WordPress issue at 11 at night while mostly asleep. Posted my favorite post of all time that literally no one looked at, but I’m still super proud of. Picked Laurie up and carried him a good ways from the bedroom to the couch without getting scratched. He’s a hefty boy and he usually struggles to get away from me so hard that I end up bleeding. He’s mellowing. I’m glad October is gone and I’m glad I’m starting November by cleaning up the wreckage and getting a fresh start to the month. ~S~
Life & Family

Fall…kind of

It’s Fall! It’s also exactly as hot as it was before it was Fall. Okay, you can get away with jeans in the morning now, but you’ll still be suffering in the afternoon. I called it Slightly Less Summer on twitter the other day and I stand by that description. It feels like seasons are just slightly off from what they should be, but maybe by December it’ll be too cold to wear shorts.

The heat means nothing though. I still want to curl up under blankets and drink hot chocolate or tea while I watch Hallmark movies or read. Luckily, I’m generally cold when I’m inside. I think it has something to do with the movement of the air and not necessarily the temperature. Either way, I am able to curl up under a blanket, but no hot chocolate yet, it’s not quite cold enough for that. I’ve had some tea the past couple of days and I couldn’t be under the blanket at the same time.

Sometimes you can even smell Fall in the air when you walk outside. It’ll be 90+ degrees and I’m sniffing like I have a sinus infection because Fall is the best smell and I want to take in as much as possible.

When I went to campus a couple weeks ago I turned the AC waaaay down so I could pretend like it was really fall. I plan on doing the same the next several times I’m staying up there. I’m certainly not going to do it at home and add it to my electricity bill.

-Sarah-

PS – I wrote this on Wednesday & today (Friday) actually felt like fall. But I think that’s because Hurricane Michael brought the cooler weather & it won’t stay that way.

Life & Family

A week in Pictures (Sept 24th thru 30th)

Monday, the 24th

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My desk on an early Monday morning.

Tuesday, the 25th

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Best friends. Fish tank tubing in the background.

Wednesday, the 26th

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This cat lost his already ridiculous mind on Wednesday.

Thursday, the 27th

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Hotel life – campus in the morning!

Friday, the 28th

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I didn’t make this pile, but I’d like to hear the story of who did.

Saturday, the 29th

The Atalaya Craft Festival was super fun and those hushpuppies were amazing.

Sunday, the 30th

The new typical Sunday evening – writing posts with the cat.

Life & Family

September in Review

Here’s a little roundup of the last month. Memories and all that.

Read:

  1. Crazy Little Thing by Tracy Brogan
  2. Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate (Review)
  3. A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis (Review)

Watched:

  • Castle Rock! So creepy and weird and awesome.
  • Cardinal.
  • La Mante.
  • The latest series of Death in Paradise.
  • Finished up Father Brown.
  • Forensic Files. So much.
  • Jack Ryan (on Amazon)
  • Too many YouTube videos about Bullet Journals & planners.
  • Too many YouTube videos from Chef John, Binging with Babish, Sorted Food, & Bon Appetite.

Did:

  • Fled to higher ground before Hurricane Florence.
  • Saw My Favorite Murder live in Charleston & wandered around with Shane’s brother and his girlfriend the next day.
  • Atalaya Craft Festival at Huntington Beach State Park.

Cooked:

  • Bacon wrapped chicken bites
  • Pimento cheese stuffed mushrooms
  • Greek marinated chicken skewers with tzatziki sauce

That one sentence about Hurricane Florence took up about half of September. Hopefully October will be less disastrous.

-S-

Life & Family

Hurricane Florence

Myrtle Beach initially escaped Hurricane Florence with fairly little damage. My building lost a few shingles and the trash compactor enclosure lost a board on the gate. Dunkin’ Donuts lost part of their sign, the intersection I use to get out of my area blinked red for quite awhile, but really the damage was fairly low.

It’s the flooding that’s getting us. Well, not me personally, I live far enough from any river or waterway that our only flooding is in drainage ditches and retention ponds. So many people’s homes are flooded that long term rentals are getting harder and harder to find as they try to find a new place to live. Conway is just under water. Many roads are closed, rivers are far above historic flood levels, and trips that should take an hour take several.

I don’t even know what else to say – Shane and I only had to evacuate and all of our stuff is fine. We lost a freezer and fridge full of food and stressed the heck out of our cats, but that’s it. We’re incredibly lucky and I feel guilty even thinking about that stuff.

If you want to do something, volunteer with the Red Cross (if they ever have shifts I can work, I’ll be there), or donate money to Florence relief – especially if the funds go to Wilmington, NC. Our grocery stores are at least getting partial shipments, they’re still fairly isolated and need a lot more help than we do.

-S-

 

Beach · Life & Family

22 Things I’ve Learned Since Moving to the Beach (feat. Hurricane Florence)

**I didn’t post this week because we evacuated ahead of Hurricane Florence. I had already written this post, so I’m just adding to it before posting.**

I’ve been living at the beach (in a tourist town) for almost 4 months now, so I’m clearly an expert on beach living. I’m kidding, I’m still brand new around here, but I have learned some things and I’d like to share. Also, be aware I make sweeping generalizations & completely make up statistics.

1. Very few people are *from* Myrtle Beach, most people here seem to be from somewhere else.
2. People who are from MB hate the beach with a passion and may go to the actual beach once a year. Maybe.
3. There are distinct ‘tourist’ vs ‘resident’ areas & while residents will go to tourist areas they will complain about it the entire time they’re there.
4. Yes, 501 and 17 are nightmares. Robert Grissom will get you almost anywhere you need to go.
5. 3 out of 5 people here are from New Jersey/New England/Ohio.
6. Those people still drive as if they live in NYC or Boston.
7. A visible majority of year round residents are retirement age or older. Many jobs traditionally held by teenagers are held by retirees – most of the teenagers work on/near the beach.
8. There are more golf courses than should be allowed in one area. Several large roads have golf cart bridges, which will never stop boggling my mind.
9. Myrtle Beach is the land of gated communities. They’re everywhere & don’t mean that the houses are particularly expensive.
10. Real estate is surprisingly reasonable (for the most part). If you want to live on the beach on Pawley’s, you’ll pay a pretty penny but other areas are much more reasonable.
11. The SC State Parks pass is a *must* if you live here – beaches at the state parks are so nice and far less crowded. They let you get into parks & park events for “free” (or at a reduced price) – the pass costs $100, but it paid for itself in the first 4 months we’ve lived here.
12. The “feels like” temperature is often 10+ degrees higher than the actual temperature and jeans will kill you. Sometimes it’s hard to breathe.

Since I’ve written this post my wee family had to flee Hurricane Florence, so I thought I’d go ahead and add 10 things I’ve learned about beach living during hurricane season. Most of the following are based on pre-aftermath, since Florence hasn’t hit MB as of this writing & I probably won’t be able to update it for awhile afterwards. Keeping that in mind, many of the things I’ve learned could be totally wrong and I make no claims that they’re true.

13. Nothing is worth your life. We left a lot behind in our apartment and I get sad thinking that if something happens to the building I’ll lose family heirlooms, my entire book collection, the sweet sweet soundbar in the living room, our nice tv, etc. but Shane and I are safe, sound, and dry with our cats. We’ll all survive the Hurricane and while the blanket chest my grandfather made may be lost, that’s the most important thing.
14. My mind only deals in worst-case scenarios, apparently. It decided that all my belongings were gone the second we left home. Which I guess is okay, since if nothing happens to anything, it’s a happy surprise.
15. Don’t stock up on freezer goods. At least not during hurricane season. Though we are repaying our hosts with lots and lots of food from our freezer, it was very heavy to get in the car & we tossed a bag of fish fillets I was excited about.
16. All diets are off during an evacuation – I’ve eaten more doughnuts in the past few days than in the months before. And I ate peach cobbler. And drank 4 sodas yesterday. I don’t really drink soda except Sprite/Ginger Ale when I don’t feel well.
17. If you have time & it fits in your car, don’t feel bad about bringing it. I packed too many books for our journey into the mountains, but books are easy to pack into small spaces & I didn’t put us in any danger while we were getting ready to leave, so why not bring too many?
18. If you have security cameras, set a couple up to look out of the window. We’ve been checking them periodically to see how the weather/storm is progressing. Right now, it’s a bit windy/rainy, but it’s early yet. I like looking at the two we have set up looking outwards instead of the one facing inside because the action is happening out there.
19. Even if nothing happens, you should probably leave if things look really bad. I guess if your house has lived through 17 Category 1 storms, it’s fine to stay for another one, but if it strengthens to a Cat 2 you should probably get out. There are reasons not to, obviously. Money and employment are the biggies and if skipping a shift will get you fired, I can see needing to weigh that against everything else.
20. Take a pack of cards. Put a pack of cards in your car just in case of a surprise evacuation. They’re super handy to entertain kids and pass some time. Also crosswords or something, if you’re so inclined. The app I use to do crosswords only works when it’s connected to the internet. And if the power’s out, I need to save the battery.
21. Stress is a weird thing. I’m okay, but sometimes I just get really quiet and stare at something. I’m also really really exhausted even though I’m sleeping fine.
22. There is no place like home. Even if it’s only been home for a few months.

-S-

Life & Family · Reading

OTSP Secret Sister

Image of wrapped presentsA few years ago I found something called On The Same Page’s Secret Sister Project. Basically, people (I think mostly/entirely women, though men are welcome) send boxes of happiness to someone each month for 6 months while receiving a box from a different person. That sounds confusing…this might be better: Person A sends packages to Person B who sends packages to Person C who sends packages to Person A. Is that any better?

The level of “secrecy” depends on the duo – I had to reveal myself early last round because I moved. I figured she would realize who I was because we follow each other on Twitter. The round before I stayed secret the entire time, which was fun. Some people plan elaborate reveals, or send clues in the boxes to their true identities, and some just write it in a tweet or in a letter.

I think the group is growing exponentially, but I’d still suggest it for people who want to make bookish friends online. I’ve found my people online & OTSP Secret Sister has been a huge part of that. It’s such a cool community and even if you’ve never “talked” to som

eone online/in a letter there’s no issue with just sending a tweet their way. I love being a part of an amazing project that brings people together. Also, you get really cool, really personalized gifts – like the penguin print to the right. I love penguins, so I put this on my wish list & now I have it on my wall!

There’s a bit of an application process, but it mostly boils down to “talk to the hosts and be active on social media.” You don’t have to be a book blogger (or a blogger at all!), but a lot of people are. There are different price levels so if you just want to send letters you can, or if you want to spend as much as you want you can.

 

 

Life & Family

Huntington Beach State Park

Last weekend Shane and I went to Huntington Beach State Park, which has a beach (obviously) but also an amazing marsh. I’ve never really gotten into hiking or other super physical activities, but I can spend hours wandering the park retracing my steps over and over. While I’ll probably never be a bird person (I’m scared of them), I really enjoy taking their pictures – I need a longer range lens, though.

Enjoy a few pictures I managed to snap while getting horribly sunburnt!

My sunburn has gotten to the point it’s unbearably itchy and yet it hurts to scratch, so I’m doing *just fine*. I always forget that my incredibly pale skin needs sunscreen a lot more often than Shane’s darker skin. An odd note – I have a birthmark that has no reaction to the sun and so it’s a patch of stark milky white skin in a sea of sunburn on my stomach.